Common Core: 9th Grade English Language Arts : Analyze the Strength, Reasoning, Validity, and Relevance of Claims While Evaluating Written Arguments: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.8

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Example Question #1 : Analyze The Strength, Reasoning, Validity, And Relevance Of Claims While Evaluating Written Arguments: Ccss.Ela Literacy.Ri.9 10.8

Adapted from George Washington’s Farewell Address (1796)

[Before this point in the text, Washington has declined to run as a candidate in the next election for President of the United States.]

Here, perhaps, I ought to stop. But a solicitude for your welfare, which cannot end but with my life, and the apprehension of danger, natural to that solicitude, urge me, on an occasion like the present, to offer to your solemn contemplation, and to recommend to your frequent review, some sentiments which are the result of much reflection, of no inconsiderable observation, and which appear to me all-important to the permanency of your felicity as a people. These will be offered to you with the more freedom, as you can only see in them the disinterested warnings of a parting friend, who can possibly have no personal motive to bias his counsel.

Interwoven as is the love of liberty with every ligament of your hearts, no recommendation of mine is necessary to fortify or confirm the attachment.

The unity of government which constitutes you one people is also now dear to you. In contemplating the causes which may disturb our Union, it occurs as matter of serious concern that any ground should have been furnished for characterizing parties by geographical discriminations, Northern and Southern, Atlantic and Western; whence designing men may endeavor to excite a belief that there is a real difference of local interests and views. One of the expedients of party to acquire influence within particular districts is to misrepresent the opinions and aims of other districts. You cannot shield yourselves too much against the jealousies and heartburnings which spring from these misrepresentations; they tend to render alien to each other those who ought to be bound together by fraternal affection.

. . .

Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government. But that jealousy to be useful must be impartial; else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defense against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike of another cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots who may resist the intrigues of the favorite are liable to become suspected and odious, while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests.

The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop. Europe has a set of primary interests which to us have none; or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves by artificial ties in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities.

Our detached and distant situation invites and enables us to pursue a different course. If we remain one people under an efficient government, the period is not far off when we may defy material injury from external annoyance; when we may take such an attitude as will cause the neutrality we may at any time resolve upon to be scrupulously respected; when belligerent nations, under the impossibility of making acquisitions upon us, will not lightly hazard the giving us provocation; when we may choose peace or war, as our interest, guided by justice, shall counsel.

Why forego the advantages of so peculiar a situation? Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground? Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor or caprice?

In offering to you, my countrymen, these counsels of an old and affectionate friend, I dare not hope they will make the strong and lasting impression I could wish. But, if I may even flatter myself that they may be productive of some partial benefit, some occasional good; that they may now and then recur to moderate the fury of party spirit, to warn against the mischiefs of foreign intrigue, to guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism; this hope will be a full recompense for the solicitude for your welfare, by which they have been dictated.

In which of the following sentences, underlined in the passage, does the author allude to supporting evidence but not provide any specific examples?

Possible Answers:

“Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government.”

“If we remain one people under an efficient government, the period is not far off when we may defy material injury from external annoyance; when we may take such an attitude as will cause the neutrality we may at any time resolve upon to be scrupulously respected.”

“The unity of government which constitutes you one people is also now dear to you.”

“Europe has a set of primary interests which to us have none; or a very remote relation.”

Correct answer:

“Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government.”

Explanation:

You need to notice the specificity with which this question is asked in order to answer it correctly. The correct answer is the one that does two things: 1.) it alludes to supporting evidence, and 2.) it does not provide any specific examples.

Let's consider each of the answer choices and see which one fulfills these two requirements.

“If we remain one people under an efficient government, the period is not far off when we may defy material injury from external annoyance; when we may take such an attitude as will cause the neutrality we may at any time resolve upon to be scrupulously respected.” - While this sentence does not provide any specific examples to support the claim that it makes, it does not refer to any supporting evidence.

“The unity of government which constitutes you one people is also now dear to you.” - This answer choice also lacks specific examples, but it also does not refer to any supporting evidence, so it is also incorrect.

“Europe has a set of primary interests which to us have none; or a very remote relation.” - Like the previous two answer choices, this answer choice lacks specific examples but does not allude to any supporting evidence.

“Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government.” - This is the correct answer. The author refers to supporting evidence in this sentence when he states that "history and experience prove" his claim; however, he does not provide any specific examples of moments in history that evince that this claim is true. This answer choice fulfills the requirements of the question, so it is the correct one.

All Common Core: 9th Grade English Language Arts Resources

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